Rapidly changing demographics point to a more balanced US workforce that needs to utilize the best talent possible — whether you’re a racial/ethnic minority or a young professional. Recently published statistics from the EEOC indicate a talent shortfall in the US of approximately 10 million jobs in years to come, so it’s important to understand how you can best establish a strong foundation for your professional success.
Tip #1 The Best Work is the Kind you Enjoy — Know What Your Employer Expects
Doing work that makes you happy brings joy to everyone around you. If you’re working there because you want to be there, you’re more likely to be not only aware of but also engaged in the needs of the business. When what you need to do is the same as what you want to do, you’ve created a perfect opportunity for professional success.
Tip #2 Be an Eager Student and Your Own Personal Publicist
The more capable and willing you are to learn and do more, the more value you bring to your employer. Make sure your employer is aware of extra steps you may be taking, both inside and outside of work, to enhance your skills and contribute to your professional development.
Tip #3 Know Your Inherent Worth — Advocate, Ask and Expect
Many employees wait for management to decide what they should do at work or how much money they should be earning. Talk to more senior employees to understand how to grow your responsibilities. Check the Interent to find out how much other people in your field are earning and share that information with management. Learn to advocate for yourself, ask for more responsibility and/or compensation, and expect what’s fair.
Tip #4 Accept Help from Others — Advocacy Will Come
Depending on your personal cultural experience, you may feel that appearing to be strong and independent will project the right image to management. It’s equally important to be aware of your areas for improvement and to proactively find trustworthy and knowledgeable individuals who can help you. Find someone to guide you on how to improve your chances for success on the job. When you start to depend on others, others will depend on you.
Tip #5 Connect with People at all Levels — Across, Above & Below
According to job finding data, over 75% of new jobs are found through networking. Whether you’re looking for a new job or just looking for suport moving up in your organization, connections with others will have the greatest influence on your achieving that goal. Stay connected not only with the higher-ups, but also with those below you and at your same level. Management may have the ability to offer you a new position, but they will seek input from people in many roles before making their decision.
Tip #6 Take Your Seat at the Table — You Belong There
As you develop in your career and in your ograniztaion, it’s important that you step into the power that is appropriate for you. So whether it’s a meeting or speaking up with your boss, be aware of how others at your level behave and make sure you act similarly in terms of showing your belonging and your fit. Seek out a mentor who can guide you towards appropriate actions and behaviors.
Tip #7 Be a Fish in Water — Swim!
New opportunities bring new challenges. A key to your future success will be how well you manage these challenges and adapt appropriately. Be open, relaxed and flexible, and just do your best. Observe your context and take appropriate actions to allow you to learn and succeed.
Tip #8 Imagine Your Life as a Movie — You are Director, Producer & Actor
The key to living your dream is to take responsibility for it. Remember that you have control over who you are, what you want to be, and what you want to do. The story of your life will be written by you.
What has been your experience as you develop in your career, as a young professional or as a person of otherness? What other ‘rules of road’ of the professional life do you follow?